A dictionary defines race as "a division of mankind possessing traits that are transmissible by descent and sufficient to characterize it as a distinct human type" but in practice, 'races' tend to be characterized more by their position of power or powerlessness in a society than by any innate traits. Biologically, no transmissible (genetic) traits are sufficient to characterize a person as belonging to one race or another. Scientists classified the population of the world into different races hundreds of years ago based on observed characteristics, but it is now generally agreed upon that race is a social construct -- a fiction which persists for complex reasons we will try to explore here. Racism is commonly understood to be prejudicial discrimination based on race -- i.e. the notion that you can gain some information about someone's intelligence, values, personality, etc. by observing the color of their skin. It follows from this notion that certain races are inherently better than others. Many find that a more useful definition encompasses the issues of power and oppression that are involved in racial discrimination. Defining racism as "racial prejudice plus power" means that when one group of people uses the notion of racial distinctions to deny power to others, this group of people can be considered racist. According to this definition, when an individual behaves in a prejudicial manner that behavior is considered racist only if it accords that person's racial group power. The power gained by subjugating a large population based on some easily observed physical characteristics is one of the many reasons racism continues to be difficult to eradicate.
Related categories 5
How Race Is Lived in America
Series of New York Times articles based on the premise that race relations are being defined less by political action than by daily experience. Includes archival articles and Web resources list. [Free registration required.]
All Look Same
Tests the reader's ability to identify people by Asian descent in 18 individual photographs.
Black People Love Us
Satire by Chelsea and Jonah Peretti describes a fictional white couple and their flubbed attempts to relate to blacks. Includes viewer letters.
FAIR Issue Area - Race and Racism
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting project to monitor and combat the media's marginalization, misrepresentation and exclusion of people of color in both the news and the newsroom.
Jewish comic bars 'Palestinian' warm-up
Describing how comedian Jackie Mason refused to allow an American Vietnam veteran to perform an opening act for his show, because the performer happened to be Palestinian.
Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia
A careful examination of racist stereotypes of African-Americans throughout history including research papers and photos of racist objects.
Over 200 Facts Related to Racial Issues
This site contains over two hundred facts on racial issues such as discrimination, income differences, affirmative action, education, slavery, media, politics and violence among other topics.
The Press And Lynching Of African Americans
A scholarly examination of the lynching epidemic of the early 20th century and how the press reacted to it.
Race and History
A community of volunteers committed to social development. Includes articles and links.
Race Relations, About.com Guide
Includes discussions, articles, links and other resources.
Racism and Race in American Law
Considering the intersection between racism and race with American law, and the role of the law in promoting or alleviating racism.
The story of a mixed race daughter and the white mother who gave her up for adoption. Discussion boards, audio of racial issues, and links to search for your family history.
Teaching to make a difference
The sites general aim is to support and provide educational material to teach about issues relating to tolerance and intolerance, the Holocaust, Human Rights, diversity and multi-culturalism.
The Biology of Skin Color
Researchers suggest that differences in skin color arose to balance the body's use of sunlight and vitamins. (February 01, 2000)
Last update:January 21, 2017 at 5:14:41 UTC